Connections - 06.30.21

Guiding Principles No Matter Where You Are on Your Data Journey

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By Elliot Massuda, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Foothold Technology

The ANCOR Annual Conference came and went so quickly, and one key theme I’ve been reflecting on since the mid-June event is the importance of data. There were several sessions that discussed or touched on the importance of data. From alternative payment models to outcomes and quality measures, the one agreed upon truth, right now, is that data is the key to success for any agency.

This got me thinking about some foundational principles for approaching data that you may want to consider incorporating in your agency. The list below is developed from sessions I’ve had the honor of participating in, not only at the ANCOR Annual Conference, but also in other webinars, articles and conversations with industry leaders. No matter where you are in your data journey, these core principles will set you up for success.

The Quality of Your Data Matters

Data drives decisions and before you can analyze the data, you must make sure that the data you have is good. Ensuring your data is good can be impacted by a strong and reliable electronic documentation system, reliable documentation and audit processes, as well as constant communication of the importance of data. Make necessary changes to ensure you have the necessary infrastructure in place to keep up the integrity of your data.

Being Data-Driven is a Culture, Not a Process

Culture is important in every organization and incorporating a data-driven culture is an integral part of pushing the data journey forward. Everyone at your agency should know their role and impact around data, whether it be to improve efficiency, increase funding, or improve ROI. Questions that your data answers and dashboards to easily share information should be at the heart of your data-driven culture.

To Go Far, Go Together

It is imperative that you leverage the relationships and resources out there that can support you in your data journey. Make sure that your software vendor is your partner in this endeavor, as they can be a phenomenal sounding board. State and national trade associations like ANCOR are excellent authorities as well. Trade associations provide resources, education, and a unified voice for the provider community. Advocate to state and federal legislators to provide guidance around a nationally recognized set of outcomes and quality measures. Align yourself with your state Medicaid office and leverage that relationship; they have been leading the movement towards alternative payment models and will impact outcome and quality measures.

Secure Buy-In at All Levels

Most changes in your agency, if not all of them, require support from the top down. It’s imperative that leadership be involved in developing the necessary changes around your agency’s data.

I strongly believe that you must take control of your data now and these guiding principles will make the data journey easier to begin and will create a strong foundation as you continue along the path to success. If you’re interested in learning more, read our recent blog post on outcomes management, and don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Authored by Elliot Massuda, Strategic Partnerships Manager at Foothold Technology. Foothold Technology’s software helps transform the way you provide care. Visit us at

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